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Double the Number of SMEs Looking to Expand Internationally

Increasing numbers of SME owners in the UK are looking to expand internationally and benefit from overseas trade, according to the latest Business Growth annual survey by Santander Corporate & Commercial.

 

  • The 2014 Business Growth survey finds 6% of business owners say the ultimate aim for their business is to expand it internationally, double the number from 2013 (3%)
  • More than a fifth (22%) of firms targeting an annual turnover of £5 million+ are aiming to become international businesses
  • However, a quarter (26%) of the firms committed to expanding internationally do not currently have a website, while the majority (57%) do not have the capacity to accept online payments
  • Santander commits to help 5,000 more businesses enter new overseas markets in 2015 

Increasing numbers of SME owners in the UK are looking to expand internationally and benefit from overseas trade, according to the latest Business Growth annual survey1 by Santander Corporate & Commercial. The 2014 survey found that 6% of business owners said the ultimate aim for their business was to expand it internationally, double the number (3%) from 20132 and also in 20123 (3%).

Appetite for exporting is a massive indicator of a company’s ambition.  While 6% of all SMEs surveyed said that international expansion was the ultimate aim for their business, 22% of firms targeting an annual turnover of more than £5 million are aiming to become international businesses.

However, this year’s survey also identified that a quarter (26%) of the firms committed to expanding internationally do not currently have a website. Moreover, the majority (57%) of these export-hungry businesses do not have capacity to accept online payments. 

Marcelino Castrillo, Managing Director of SME Banking at Santander, said: “There is clearly a growing appetite among UK businesses to expand overseas and seize the benefits that can come from international trade, and this is great to see. However, it is also clear that a number of UK businesses may be unnecessarily hindering these opportunities, and here it is important to seek out advice and support from a trusted business partner.”

To help more businesses access the advice and support they need to begin trading with new markets, Santander is launching a new package of non-financial support as part of its commitment to help 5,000 more businesses expand internationally in 2015. 

Businesses will be able to access free masterclasses, seminars and round tables through Santander’s new Breakthrough Moments Box. This “pop up” business surgery will be visiting key cities in the UK to connect businesses to experts and advice to help them equip for growth and international expansion. 

In June this year, Santander announced the launch of the Trade Club, an online global community open to more than five million SME and corporate Santander clients. The Club allows members to interact with other businesses both in the UK and overseas to establish import and export links, and to seek opportunities for growth.

The Trade Club is the latest tool available from the Santander Trade Portal – www.santandertrade.com – which is also free to all of Santander’s business customers4 and helps customers access overseas markets, find international stakeholders and source exporting opportunities.

Marcelino Castrillo, Managing Director of SME Banking at Santander, said: “With our global reach, Santander is committed to helping UK businesses to maximise international trading opportunities as we believe that exporting and expansion should be a core part of many SME business plans. While our latest research found that double the number of SMEs are looking to expand internationally from last year, I’m hopeful that the long-term trend will see more and more UK businesses realise the tangible benefits that overseas trade and exporting can provide.”

The information contained in our press releases is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions.

Notes to Editors

The Breakthrough Moments Box
Santander’s ‘pop-up’ surgery will be visiting key cities in the UK. SME owners will be able to come down for free sessions where they can ask questions about exporting, access Santander’s industry leading trade portal, discuss banking support available to them, and enter a competition to win a place on a Trade Mission in 2015.   

Santander UK is a leading financial services provider in the UK and offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. At 30 June 2014, Santander UK serves around 14 million active customers with c. 20,300 employees, almost 1,000 branches and 52 regional Corporate Business Centres. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in the UK. Santander UK plc customers are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK.

About Us
Banco Santander (SAN.MC, STD.N, BNC.LN) is a retail and commercial bank, based in Spain, with a presence in 10 main markets. Santander is the largest bank in the euro zone by market capitalization. Founded in 1857, Santander had EUR 1.34 trillion in managed funds, 107 million customers, 13,225 branches – more than any other international bank – and 183,648 employees at the close of June 2014. It is the largest financial group in Spain and Latin America. It also has significant positions in the United Kingdom, Portugal, Germany, Poland and the northeast United States. In the first half of 2014, Santander registered EUR 2.756 billion in attributable profit, an increase of 22% from the same period of the previous year.

Media Enquiries
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Siobhan O’Shea           020 7756 4189   Mobile: 07789 651 947 

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